Blog       Loyal fundraisers and how to create them with DMS Agency

Loyal fundraisers and how to create them with DMS Agency

Facebook fundraising Challenges offer nonprofits a golden opportunity to engage with supporters where they're most active and raise crucial funds for their causes. But how do you sustain and nurture those supporters once the Challenge has ended?

In today’s competitive landscape, converting casual supporters into loyal donors is not just a goal; it's a necessity. With the nonprofit sector bustling with activity, organizations must work harder than ever to impress new supporters and cultivate long-term commitment.

Recently, we hosted a webinar with Laura Chapman and Kate James of DMS Agency as they shed light on effective strategies for turning digital supporters into loyal fundraisers. Let's dive into the key takeaways!

Watch the webinar

Prefer to tune in? Our recent webinar with DMS Agency experts covered everything from understanding supporter expectations to creating engaging welcome journeys. Watch the full replay or keep reading to learn about loyal fundraisers and how to create them.

Starting with a welcome

Fundraising and storytelling go hand in hand; it's all about sharing the stories of your beneficiaries with your supporters. But how do you keep that interesting and engaging over a supporter’s lifetime?

The first step is implementing a strong welcome journey. According to DMS Agency, a well-crafted welcome journey is crucial for building a lasting relationship with your supporters. Their experience in running annual campaigns reveals that response rates are exceptionally high—between 45-55%—in the first 0-12 months after a donation. However, this engagement drops significantly to below 30% after 25-36 months. This highlights not only the cost-effectiveness of retaining donors compared to acquiring new ones but also the importance of maintaining engagement from the very beginning, rather than relying on reactivation efforts.

Give Panel Deck - Building long-term support from Digi recruits.pptx

After setting the stage with a robust welcome journey, the next question becomes: what exactly do supporters want?

What do my supporters want?

Your supporters expect more than just transactional interactions; they want meaningful experiences that resonate with them. Meeting these expectations involves not only fulfilling basic needs but also exceeding them to create memorable and rewarding experiences.

DMS Agency uses insights from the Kano model, which categorizes preferences into hygiene, performance, and excitement factors, to explore what truly matters to supporters and how your nonprofit can meet those needs. The Kano model provides a 3-part framework for understanding supporter satisfaction:

  • Hygiene Factors: These are the basic needs that, when fulfilled, prevent dissatisfaction but don't necessarily create excitement.
  • Performance Factors: These factors directly influence satisfaction when present and dissatisfaction when absent.
  • Excitement Factors: These are the elements that surprise and delight supporters, exceeding their expectations and encouraging loyalty. 

So, what truly matters to your supporters? The answer might surprise you. DMS Agency has surveyed over 70,000 individuals over the past eight years to uncover what supporters value most in their interactions with charities. One response consistently ranks highest: knowing how their money is spent.  

The supporter experience

Understanding what supporters want is just the beginning. The next crucial step is to develop a framework for effectively communicating these important messages. Fortunately, DMS Agency has paved the way with their comprehensive approach. Their framework incorporates six commitment pillars that address hygiene, performance, and excitement factors, all designed to cultivate the most loyal donors possible.

Here’s a breakdown of what each commitment pillar could entail for your supporter journey content:

  • Maintain accurate records and handle supporter data with care.
  • Set clear expectations and follow through. Let supporters know what to expect and stick to your promises.
  • Show respect by demonstrating that you value your supporters and their contributions.
  • Prove your good intentions by fulfilling your promises and being transparent.
  • Let supporters choose how they wish to receive communications from you.
  • Clearly communicate who the donation will help, providing details where possible.
  • Share your organization's values and how you act on them.
  • Prove your impact and successes. Highlight successful projects and beneficiaries.
  • Convince supporters that their contributions let your charity make a significant difference.
  • Educate supporters on the problems your organization is tackling.
  • Explain why these problems are critical, possibly more so than other causes.
  • Engage supporters in meaningful ways that make them feel integral to your mission.
  • Speak their language! Use terms and ideas that connect with supporters and your organization's values.

The team put their commitment model into action when they worked with Poppy Scotland on their newsletter. By using these six pillars, DMS Agency increased their income from £3,000 to over £61,000 almost overnight—an incredible 200% increase!

Give Panel Deck - Building long-term support from Digi recruits.pptx-2

How do I welcome supporters?

You've recruited supporters to your Facebook Challenge, they've committed to a month long activity and now is the time to start building that lasting relationship through an effective welcome journey. So what does that look like? 

According to DMS Agency, a typical welcome journey should be concise, ideally between six weeks and three months. The exact duration can vary based on the donation amount and the likelihood of the supporter continuing their engagement with your organization.

Here are the four key stages DMS Agency recommends:

  1. Week 1 - Start by thanking and giving your new supporters a warm welcome
  2. Weeks 2-3 - Communicate your nonprofit’s cause and impact clearly
  3. Week 4 - Make them feel great about their donation’s impact
  4. Week 5+ - Secure repeat giving

Additionally, consider these two critical aspects of your welcome journey:

  • Channel-Agnostic Approach: Should you create different journeys for online and offline recruits, or adopt a channel-agnostic approach? A unified, consistent message across all channels can strengthen your relationship with supporters, ensuring they receive the same experience regardless of how they were recruited.
  • Relationship Dynamics: While the transactional relationship is between the charity and the supporter, it's vital to facilitate a close connection between the supporter and the beneficiary. This personal connection reinforces the supporter's motivation and highlights the direct impact of their generosity, making them feel an integral part of your mission.

DMS Agency’s top takeaways

The journey from recruiting casual supporters to nurturing loyal donors is both challenging and vital, but DMS Agency’s step-by-step approach means your nonprofit can effectively navigate this process. Let’s recap their top tips:

  • Turning a casual supporter into a loyal donor is harder - but more important than ever
  • New supporters are highly motivated and want to be impressed by you
  • It is within your power to influence how committed your new supporters become to your organization
  • Don’t just say thank you - show them that you’re grateful for their gift, by communicating their impact
  • Layer your welcome messaging in the right order, building a solid foundation before giving them the razzle-dazzle

By implementing a robust welcome journey, understanding what supporters truly value, and strategically layering your communications, you can build strong, lasting relationships with your supporters. With these insights and tools, your nonprofit can transform initial enthusiasm into long-term loyalty, ensuring sustained support and greater impact for your cause.

Who is DMS Agency?

Whether it’s connecting new audiences to your cause, switching supporters on to gaming or inspiring alumni: multi-channel fundraising is what DMS Agency does. And they’ve been doing it brilliantly for over 30 years.

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They combine their creativity and experience with a rich understanding of behavioural science and data to create fundraising that evokes emotions, triggers response and gets results.

To chat about creating your own welcome journey, email the team at, who will be happy to support your organization turn casual supporters into loyal fundraisers.

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